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HENRYs: A Joke About A Broken System

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Apparently, there is a new movement of people who are proud to be broke. “I’m broke” is a very frequent meme and apparently the phrase “I am broke” is something to be proud of when a business calls itself ThisIsWhyImBroke.com. I am not being paid by them, just wanted to let you know this is real. In fact, there is a group of people called HENRYs (high earner not rich yet) which have grown in popularity. This is a group of people (particularly millennials) who make at least a six figure salary, but have forged no wealth.

The fact that HERNYs are a thing almost makes me sick. Not the fact that people spend their entire salaries. What sickens me is that HENRYs is a movement. It is something that is becoming popular and in turn, people are proud of.

Pride In Being HENRYs?

I don’t know if I am missing something, but I do not understand why anyone would be proud of having literally no wealth. HENRYs are frequently the people others look up to. They are the lawyers and doctors who make high salaries that are frequently the subject of envy. Unfortunately, lawyers and doctors are known to be careers that are not very stable or that can lose money in malpractice. These are among the last careers anyone should be living paycheck to paycheck with.

More importantly, these people should be making investments and creating wealth that ensure their future and inspire others. This is what makes them such an important topic when talking about personal finance.

HENRYs Show That Income And Wealth Are Not Correlated

As I have previously stated, high incomes do not guarantee wealth. They only help. The sad truth is that most cases of lack of wealth are caused by personal choice. People chose not to invest and others chose what they spend their money on. Unless you live in San Francisco, making a six figure salary makes you at least middle class. You have opportunities people can only dream of, you can forge your wealth in unimaginable ways.

Why Do HENRYs Overspend

The first reason HENRYs overspend is because spending money on frivolous items feels good. If it did not, consumerism would not be a thing. The second reason is because people in positions that HENRYs typically go in have high society and family expectations, in other words they feel like they will be judged.

If you are a lawyer or a doctor, congratulations, you have obtained one of the highest achievements known to man. Even if you did not obtain the degree through intelligence, it was through determination. You do not have to take any judgement from others.

Besides, as a lawyer or a doctor, you will be judging many people. Not to their faces. It is hard to care about people’s judgments while you yourself will be judging them, and negatively.

If you are a lawyer it is unlikely you will only be defending sweet ladies who are being wronged and prosecuting the scum of the earth. You will likely defend people who are the scum of the earth and prosecute the sweet ladies who are being wronged at least once. If you are a doctor, you will have a…diverse set of patients. I can almost guarantee you that if you have not learned what the medical shorthand “insertion” means, you will likely learn in a year. You will be disturbed about how specific tools used for “insertion” cases are.

I hope I did not deter anyone from chasing a career in medicine or law, especially if you have a passion for it. I am just addressing some perverted realities in the profession. Every profession has some perverted realities.

Final Thoughts

If you are a HENRY, you should not be proud to belong in that demographic. However, two fifths of the definition of a HENRY means that most of the time you have more than enough income to start your wealth and the “yet” means you have the capability to forge your wealth. If you do not make six figure salaries, you need to know that you income alone is not holding you back. Much like taking on the task to obtain an advanced degree or a very demand job, you must change your mindset to reach new goals.

Author: Papa Foxtrot

Most of my life I was careful with money and learned where I should invest it. I was very lucky to have parents who taught me financial literacy when I was young. Unfortunately, I am very lucky because many people lack the financial literacy I know. The purpose of Forge Your Wealth is to teach people who are just starting out in life how to obtain their wealth or anyone who just realized they may need to learn more to handle their finances. I currently have a PhD in biochemistry, just started a job in industry (will not disclose where exactly for personal and professional reasons) and am currently married to the love of my life. I am one of the lucky few people in America who graduated with no student debts, my wife was not. Over the series of a little over 3 years we paid for our wedding with no debt and paid off her federal student loans.

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